[webdev] Web Design Update: August 16, 2006
lcarlson at d.umn.edu
Thu Aug 17 06:26:06 CDT 2006
+++ WEB DESIGN UPDATE.
- Volume 5, Issue 08, August 16, 2006.
An email newsletter to distribute news and information about web design
++ISSUE 08 CONTENTS.
SECTION ONE: New references.
What's new at the Web Design Reference site?
New links in these categories:
02: CASCADING STYLE SHEETS.
03: EVALUATION & TESTING.
06: INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE.
10: STANDARDS, GUIDELINES & PATTERNS.
14: What Can You Find at the Web Design Reference Site?
++ SECTION ONE: New references.
Accessibility: WCAG 2.0 and You
By Tim Dungan (aka ptvGuy).
"What do we do in the face of all this debate? Quite simply, those of
us that actually make websites and care about making them useful and
accessible to real people are just going to have to go on doing the
best we can on our own-as, in fact, we've pretty much been doing. We
will continue to use our own brains to think about what we're doing and
how we can make it as useful as possible to all users. That's all there
is to it. We're already going above and beyond the requirements of our
sites. So, before we get too carried away, keep this in mind. Even the
home page of the W3C itself only claims WCAG 1, level 1 compliance.
Yes, we can and should go above that. Section 508 alone gets into
levels 1 and 2. However, lets not lose track of our underlying budget
and time limitations. We don't expect an accessible building to have a
hospital built into it. We don't have to go that far with our websites
either. WCAG 2.0, like WCAG 1.0 before it, is a set of guidelines. It's
not a wall or a fence. If it leads you where you need to go, great. If
not, then you gotta find your own way. After all, it's you that your
clients and users depend on, not the W3C. "
Lack of Access = Barrier to Access
By Joe Dolson.
"...An accessible web developer's job is to remove barriers to access,
if working on an existing site, or to minimize the barriers they create
when designing an original site..."
Misunderstanding Accessible Design
By Joe Dolson
"...CSS is just as susceptible to inaccessibility as the next design
technology. This is because it is a design tool, not the content
itself. The first step to creating accessible web content is to write
accessible HTML. If you've organized your HTML semantically, using your
block elements correctly, not littering the page with extra <span> or
<div> tags and using your <table> tags for tabular data, then you've
accomplished the greatest part to building an accessible website..."
Accessibility Series - tbody
By Sandra Clark.
"This is an article in an occasional series on common mistakes in
markup and accessibility. While its fine to always talk about what the
guidelines are, sometimes its also good to talk about what not to do or
how to do something properly."
Useful Guides to Accessibility
"Mencap has produced some useful guides on how to make your information
and services more accessible for people with a learning disability."
New Research for Socitm Insight Shows Even the Best Websites Can Cause
Problems For Disabled Users
According to Stefan Haselwimmer, MD of the Usability Exchange, the
results of the testing highlight the importance of carrying out
disabled user testing when evaluating website accessibility - something
that is recommended by accessibility guidance such as the British
Standards Institution's PAS 78. 'Such testing can also highlight many
of the usability issues that affect non-disabled users' he says.
+02: CASCADING STYLE SHEETS.
CSS Showcase: Navigation Menus, Tabs and Techniques
By Vitaly Friedman.
Turning Lists into Trees
By Michal Wojciechowski.
"In this article, I will present a technique to display a multi-level
unordered list in the form of a tree with lines connecting nodes."
By Dave Stone.
Make Better Web Pages by Understanding the CSS Box Model
"...one of the most important concepts a developer can understand is
the so-called CSS 'box model', which underpins most of CSS layout and
positioning. This article provides a brief introduction to this box
model, explaining what it is and how you can use it to make better
decisions about positioning your HTML elements on a Web page..."
+03: EVALUATION & TESTING.
Data Visualization of Web Stats: Logarithmic Charts and the Drooping
By Jakob Nielsen.
"Using a linear diagram to plot data from website traffic logs can lead
you to overlook important conclusions. Sometimes advanced
visualizations are worth the effort."
DealBITS Training Library Contest from lynda.com
August 14-20, 2006.
Enter to win a one-year Online Training Library premium subscription
User Interface Engineering (UIE) Virtual Seminars
October 2-4, 2006.
Santa Clara, California U.S.A.
October 3-5, 2006.
Oviedo, Asturias, Spain
Behaviour and Information Technology Conference
October 10, 2006.
London, United Kingdom
October 13, 2006.
Washington, DC, U.S.A.
XTech WebDev: Essential Web Developer Training
October 31, 2006.
London, United Kingdom
User Friendly 2006
November 3-5, 2006.
Using Flash Player 8 Filters for Good
By Tinic Uro.
"...We've had many discussion internally of how we could make the Flash
Player more accessible for disabled users and I can already tell you
that there are plenty of ideas which will eventually make their way
into the player. The list of things to do is really long. But for the
time being let me show you a little example of how a filter can make
something which used to be difficult very easy now. If you ever had to
deal with accessibility for the visually impaired you might know that
Flash does not follow the high contrast settings of Windows. This is a
real problem and prevents the deployment of Flash applications in many
cases. While native integration is still missing in Flash Player 8 you
can offer clients a way of enabling this, using the
+06: INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE.
The Bulletin of Information Architecture
The August/September 2006 issue of the ASIS&T Bulletin includes a
special section on information architecture with a nice mix of
philosophical and practical articles.
"JSON (pronounced...like the English given name 'Jason'), which stands
interchange format. JSON is a subset of the object literal notation of
JSON All The Way
By Drew McLellan.
"I'm increasingly coming around to the realization that JSON is pretty
providing a web service or API that's returning data in XML format, you
really need to start offering a JSON output option if you want to
encourage use of your service. It's becoming essential."
Dan Cederholm Interview
By Ryan Carson.
"In this interview, Ryan Carson from Carson Workshops talks to Dan
Cederholm, web designer, author and one half of the duo behind
Gel (Good Experience Live) 2006 Video Clips
PHP Video: Processing Forms with PHP - part 1
By Stefan Mischook.
"In this video, I review a few key aspects about forms that relate
directly to form processing with PHP...."
+10: STANDARDS, GUIDELINES & PATTERNS.
By Eric A. Meyer.
"...It's the most concise indictment possible that the first part of
the W3C's mission statement, the fragment they put right on their home
page, 'Leading the Web to Its Full Potential...', has been betrayed..."
Angry, Not: Zeldman, Meyer, and Fair Concerns About the W3C
By Molly E. Holzschlag.
"Eric Meyer has written a great post, 'Angry Indeed 'and one that's
going to be read and linked to. A lot. I agree with many of Eric's
perspectives on this issue and therein lies the great irony of the
entire conversation as to the relevance and strength of the W3C..."
Just What Has Microsoft Been Doing for IE 7?
"Jeff Reifman writes 'Last week, Windows columnist Paul Thurrott ripped
into Microsoft for ignoring CSS standards with its upcoming Internet
Explorer 7.0. 'Microsoft has set back Web development by an
immeasurable amount of time. My advice is simple: Boycott IE. It's a
cancer on the Web that must be stopped. IE isn't secure and isn't
standards-compliant, which makes it unworkable both for end users and
Web content creators.' With the redesign of my own site last month, I
discovered just how non-compliant IE is with basic CSS: IE 52% vs.
Firefox 93%. Is Microsoft purely incompetent and tone-deaf to customers
- or simply counting on IE's non-compliance remaining a de-facto
IE7 Not CSS Compliant - Argh, Here We Go Again!
By Richard MacManus.
"It's disappointing that IE7 will perform so poorly in regards to CSS
and web standards, particularly as I came away from that Webstock
conference optimistic that IE7 would finally put an end to IE's poor
record with CSS."
IE and CSS 'Compliance'
By Chris Wilson.
"...The one thing that really burns my personal toast is that we've
been working hard to improve our standards support in IE7, and I
believe it is simply wrong to think that we've only moved the needle
2%. In fact, we prioritized IE7 around 3 things - security, end user
experience, and standards improvements in the platform. When I look
back at the work my team has done in the platform, we have done only
these things. No proprietary features added, just standards
improvements. (Look forward to an upcoming IEBlog post from Markus
Mielke listing out the CSS changes we've done in IE7.) I feel that
we've addressed the biggest problems and shortcomings from IE6 for web
developers and designers, and we're hard at work shipping IE7 and
getting ready to doing it again in the next release. As I previously
stated, our goal is to make the lives of web developers better by
improving standards support in IE. I think we've done a lot in IE7 to
do just that, and I'm looking forward to doing even more..."
Google Valid and Strict
By Roger Johansson.
"...The myth that Google is using invalid markup to save bandwidth is
clearly just a myth. Whether the reason is backwards compatibility,
fear of change, developer ignorance, the server platform inflexibility,
that they just don't care, or something else, I can only guess. But it
sure isn't saving them any bandwidth."
Tails (Firefox Extension)
By Calvin Yu.
"Tails is a Firefox extension that will display the presence of
microformats on a webpage."
HexColorPicker is a html plugin for Mac OS X's builtin colorpicker.
Designing With Code: Creating a Resizable Interface
By Kris Hadlock.
"In this article, I'll explain how to use CSS to create resizable
interfaces with very little code. I'll also take a look at some
A live example can be seen here and the source code that is used in the
article can be downloaded here."
'Dumbing Down' vs 'Writing More Intelligently'
By Russ Weakley.
"...When asked to write content for websites, scientists often ignore
many of their target audiences and write specifically for their peers -
other scientists in the same field...I have always had problems with
the phrase 'dumbing down'. Scientists sometimes assume that they are
more intelligent than their audiences and that attempting to
communicate clearly with anyone outside their profession is beneath
them...The answer I have always wanted to give to these people is: 'No,
I don't want you to dumb it down. I would like you to write more
intelligently. I'd like you to understand who you are communicating to,
develop some empathy with these audiences and attempt to communicate
clearly with these people'..."
The Long Neck
By Gerry McGovern.
"All websites have a very small set of killer tasks that really matter
to the customer. Web management is about perfecting the completion of
Participatory Design - and Why It's More Than UCD
By Ann Light.
"The buzz at the Participatory Design Conference (PDC2006) this month
in Trento, Italy, was all about dissemination of methods. In the last
few years, this community has watched a number of its more radical
ideas for working with users go mainstream. ...Ask people what they do?
Involve them in discussions about how things are going to work? Listen
to them and use their ideas? Participatory methods have lost their
value to shock..."
Vision Quest: How Low-Resolution Displays Have Changed the Way We Read,
Write, and Interact
By Jonathan Follett.
"Communication happens when behaviour changes--when the message you've
carefully designed is not only received, but understood and acted upon.
Join Jon Follett as he explores how we can best communicate on the web
where low resolution monitors and tiny mobile screens are the delivery
methods for our missives."
Display 2.0: A Look Forward to the High-Definition Web and Its Effect
on Our Digital Experience
By Jonathan Follett.
"In the next few years, the adoption of high-resolution displays-with
150 or more pixels per inch-will significantly alter our conception of
what the Web and networked applications can potentially be..."
Frequently Asked Questions About XHTML vs HTML
Microformats Cheat Sheet
By Brian Suda.
"This is a very early iteration of a microformats cheat sheet..."
Beginning to Style Your RSS Feed
By Jonathan Christopher.
"...Given the wide range of exposure surrounding RSS, I think it's
really important to handle your feed in a way that will be usable by as
many people as possible. One way to accomplish that is to apply a bit
of structure and style to your feed in case an inexperienced user were
to somehow find their way to your RSS via their browser..."
SVG12: Brief Clarification on Formal Objections
By Bjoern Hoehrmann.
"Dear Scalable Vector Graphics Working Group, Thank you for informing
me...about a possible misunderstanding on part of the SVG Working Group
about what constitutes a formal objection in terms of the W3C
SVG Tiny 1.2 in Candidate Wreckommendation Stage
By Ian Hickson.
Today the W3C announced that SVG Tiny 1.2 entered the Candidate
Recommendation stage. To do this they had to violate the W3C process..."
What's Wrong With The SVG Working Group
By Robert O'Callahan.
"The current draft of SVG 1.2 Tiny defines <svg:a target="_self"> to
work in a way that's incompatible with the de-facto standard
implemented by all major browsers for the HTML <a> element. It is,
apparently, compatible with the W3C's WebCGM Recommendation...Wake up,
W3C. We need you and this kind of nonsense isn't doing anyone any good."
[Section one ends.]
++ SECTION TWO:
+15: What Can You Find at the Web Design Reference Site?
Cascading Style Sheets Information.
Evaluation & Testing Information.
Information Architecture Information.
Miscellaneous Web Information.
Sites & Blogs Listing.
Standards, Guidelines & Pattern Information.
[Section two ends.]
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Until next time,
Laura L. Carlson
Information Technology Systems and Services
University of Minnesota Duluth
Duluth, MN U.S.A. 55812-3009
mailto:lcarlson at d.umn.edu
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